APC BE550R UPS Review - Runtime, Annoyances and more

APC BE550R Review and why to NOT get the BE350R

I Purchased this from Staples.ca for the price of CAD$50+tax, I would say it is well worth spending the extra $10 in cost to get the 550VA version, rather than the 350VA BE350R.

Why get a UPS?

  • To cover your arse when the power goes out of course
  • Cordless phones don't work when the power goes out, unless you have one of these.
  • To keep up my internet connection (while my laptop can run off battery power)
  • To recharge my cell phone in an absolute emergency if/when the power goes out
  • Protect my stuff (since it does have non-uninterruptible surge-protect sockets as well)
  • Even if the phone system were to go out (cutting out my internet connection as well), I could use it to top up my MP3 player battery or some such.

What I use the BE550R for:

  1. Cordless phone base station (the other stations which communicate with the main unit are just charging stations, so they will continue to work until they run out of batteries)
  2. DSL Modem - Speedstream 4200
  3. WRT54G Router

How long does the APC BE550R UPS Last?

Well, I am running a test right now. I'm doing a "simulated" power outage as of 10:32PM. I am running just the 3 items above off of it, and the cordless phone is fully-charged to begin with. I am just doing basic internet tasks, and not running anything over the wireless, just the wired modem connection to the router. Finally, phone calls will be minimal over the time period of the test.

Annoying Beeping Sound with the BE550R & Probably Other APC Units

Quite possibly the worst thing about the unit is the beeping sound it makes when the power is disconnected. Every 15 seconds or so while the power is "out" it beeps, quite loudly, 4 times, for about 4 seconds total. Supposedly you can turn it off by attaching your computer to it with the included USB cable, but rumour has it once you remove your computer from it, it will revert back to beeping by default when the power goes out.

I think I will have to partially take the thing apart to deal with this and remove it, or add a resister in series. It is that loud, and I don't need to know when the power is still out, a notification beep that the power has gone out is enough, and perhaps again when the UPS has almost run out of power (and I guess again when the power comes back).

Surprising Things About Lightning Storms

One thing that really surprises me about this Uninterruptible Power Supply is how often you can hear the relay switching my stuff to backup battery power during a lightning storm even when you don't see the lights flicker or hear lightning. This means that it is detecting tiny power disruptions that I don't even notice, which should let my equipment last longer.

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